Decks have been cleared for the launch of India’s first semi-high speed train Gatiman Express that will run between Delhi and Agra at a speed of 160 km per hour and will complete the 210-km journey in just around one-and-half hours.
North Central Railway general manager Mahesh Mangal, who was on a two-day inspection of Agra and Mathura, told media persons on Sunday that Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) powered rail engines could be used in the eco-sensitive Agra region.
“This is being explored as an option for the future and technical knowhow being accessed,” he said.
Mangal said a clearance from the commissioner, railway safety, was all that was now required to start the country’s first semi-high speed train.
Railway sources said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was likely to flag off the train in the second week of June.
Trials on the stretch have been successfully completed. The fencing work on both sides of the track is almost complete.
The communication and signalling systems have been upgraded. The train could be hauled by a 5,400 HP electric engine and is likely to have 12 coaches, to begin with, with automatic braking system and fire alarm.
The fare, according to officials, could be a little higher than the Shatabdi Express, but it is yet to be decided.
After inspecting a railway canteen, pantry car and the platforms in Mathura on Sunday, Mangal chose to interact with passengers in an Express train to find out their problems.